PS3 Move in all its glory

The PS3 Move has now been released.  I have been an advocate of this tech when it was shown at E3 2009.  The potential for the motion controller seemed high.  Strategically it was geared up as high definition version of the Wii Remote and would have really appealed to an audience who were looking for the next generation of gaming.

In the PS3 Move bundle you get the Wand controller, PS3 Eye and a starter disc.  You have to purchase a sub controller separately at additional cost or use a Dual Shock 3 controller using one hand (good luck with that).  The setup is slightly pain free which will get you up and running in no time at all using the starter disc.  However, if you have lighting issues i.e. too brighter an environment the PS3 Eye will have trouble in detecting the Wand controller.

Where I think the trouble begins with the Move is its integration with the XMB (cross media browser) menu system.  Trying to navigate with the Wand controller is night on impossible and Sony really need to update this to be a more integrated solution.  The problem arises with the sensitivity of the device and scrolling up or down, left or right through the menus is either too fast or too slow.  I also, found that there is slight lag in picking up the controller.  The Wand controller needs to mimic a mouse controller rather than a dual shock controller and this is where it will be most effective when using the PS3’s web browser for their PS store and also the BBC Iplayer, 4OD and ITV player services.  But this will entail a complete rebuild of the XMB which I don’t Sony will commit to.

However, playing some of the demos available on the start up disc such as Table tennis and Tiger Woods golf proves how effective the controller can be.  It is super accurate in picking up your movements and it is truly 1:1 detection.  The potential for future games such as Killzone 3 having Move support seems to be a mouth watering proposition and will appeal to the hardcore. The PS3 Move has now been released.  I have been an advocate of this tech when it was shown at E3 2009.  The potential for the motion controller seemed high.  Strategically it was geared up as high definition version of the Wii Remote and would have really appealed to an audience who were looking for the next generation of gaming.

In the PS3 Move bundle you get the Wand controller, PS3 Eye and a starter disc.  You have to purchase a sub controller separately at additional cost or use a Dual Shock 3 controller using one hand (good luck with that).  The setup is slightly pain free which will get you up and running in no time at all using the starter disc.  However, if you have lighting issues i.e. too brighter an environment the PS3 Eye will have trouble in detecting the Wand controller.

Where I think the trouble begins with the Move is its integration with the XMB (cross media browser) menu system.  Trying to navigate with the Wand controller is night on impossible and Sony really need to update this to be a more integrated solution.  The problem arises with the sensitivity of the device and scrolling up or down, left or right through the menus is either too fast or too slow.  I also, found that there is slight lag in picking up the controller.  The Wand controller needs to mimic a mouse controller rather than a dual shock controller and this is where it will be most effective when using the PS3’s web browser for their PS store and also the BBC Iplayer, 4OD and ITV player services.  But this will entail a complete rebuild of the XMB which I don’t Sony will commit to.

However, playing some of the demos available on the start up disc such as Table tennis proves how effective the controller can be.  It is super accurate in picking up your movements and it is truly 1:1 detection.  The potential for future games such as Killzone 3 having Move support seems to be a mouth watering proposition.  However, the controls need to be spot on for this to work.  Most of the launch software seems tripe though and like with all console related peripherals this can only be as successful as the software launched for it.  There needs to be a game changer for the casual crowd to start buying into the PS3 Move.  At the moment, it doesn’t seem like Sony are fully behind the Move whilst Microsoft on the other hand have heavily invested in advertising campaigns and released a decent amount of good quality software for the Kinect.

Truth be told both the Kinect and PS Move were released to extend the life of the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively however, as the tech is not an integral part of the way the consoles work compared to a traditional controllers I expect interest in the devices to drop early next year.  This will allow Nintendo’s next home console to start building momentum.

spider the secret of Bryce manor review

I had this sitting around on my IPhone for a while and only recently started playing it on my IPAD.

The aim of the game is simple, collect enough bugs with your Spider and an exit will open up.  In order to capture the bugs you have to use your silk supply by creating cobwebs.  If you create too many cobwebs you will see the game over screen.  Efficiency is the name of the game here where you have to find the perfect balance of getting around the level and creating larger cobwebs to capture as many insects as possible.

The game is controlled using gesture controls and the screen real estate afforded by the IPAD allows for easier control of your character.  Swipe left or right to move your avatar and press down on the screen to start creating cobwebs.

The game has around 28 levels and proves very good value for money.  There is a reliability factor in collecting items and hidden bugs in order to obtain a perfect score.  I love the art direction and a lot of time has spent creating the atmosphere of the Manor.

This is a classic Iphone/IPAD game which is not to be missed which uses the potential of touch screen controls to its fullest.  Download!!!

5/5

Star Defense review

I purchased Star Defense back in July 09 and have only just managed to play it. With a barrage of games to play this was put on the back burner. After purchasing an IPAD I decided to give this a go on this device. I have been playing this on and off over the past few weeks and managed to complete the game whilst watching the world cup games :)

The objective of the game like any other strategy tower defense game is to defend your base from the incoming enemies this time being aliens. The hook of this game seems to be the planet being your level which is an ingenious piece of level design. You pinch, pan and zoom around the globes and add towers in key locations to defend your base. Enemies come in waves and in a variety of sizesthey are immune to certain types of weaponry i.e. fire, plasma. So you really need to have an assortment of cannons placed to maximise your chances of success.

A few strategy hints I could give is to make the most of your environments. You need to really use each tower/gunner in the optimal position i.e. covering the most area/radius possible. Also, it is better to upgrade your weaponry rather than adding towers. The plasma and flame cannons should be your staple and adding the slow down cannons at key locations such as opposite flame or plasma cannons can help but I wouldn’t use them more than two or three of them on each level. I completed the last level using only 20 out of 30 possible towers and the majority were upgraded to the max.

Lastability is around 8-10 hours. The fourth planet was really challenging and took the most effort. It is a very addictive game but there are gameplay balancing issues as mentioned before which hampers the experience a little bit they could learn a thing or two from Popcap. All in all I enjoyed this very much and similar to Plants vs Zombies has that ‘one more go’ appeal.

4/5

Mirror's Edge review

I love this game. Despite playing the majority of the story mode without realising that you can pick up weapons (not explained in game very well I thought but I’ll forgive them) :)

I love this game.  Despite playing the majority of the story mode without realising that you can pick up weapons (not explained in game very well I thought but I’ll forgive them) :)

Dice have come up trumps with the look and feel of this game.  Also, the sound created by Solar Fields is nothing short of stunning.  Both graphics and sound really pull the whole concept of running and jumping through the environments together by adding verve and agility to the pacing.

Some people will not get this game due to it crossing several barriers such as running and jumping through first person mode and secondly, the simplistic nature in its combat.  Which neither makes it a traditional first person shooter or say a platformer.

However, saying that I liked the fact this is trying to break new ground and for the most parts the combat, running and jumping works.  There are moments of slow down in pace which doesn’t sit comfortably with the running sections.  It is more fun running across and over buildings which gets your adrenaline pumping rather than the minimalist shooting sequences which can frustrate especially given your health bar.

The story mode lasted around the 8-10 hour mark for me and then you can take on the challenge mode.  It is a worthwhile game those looking for something different and willing to take the gamble.  I loved the art direction and for the most parts the environments and characters.

4/5

PixelJunk shooter review

This game reminds me of Solar Jetman for some reason. Maybe it is collecting things on a 2D plane controlling a ship. Your job is to save the scientists/miners whilst navigating your spaceship through obstacles and the ever changing environment.

This game reminds me of Solar Jetman for some reason.  Maybe it is collecting things on a 2D plane controlling a ship.   Your job is to save the scientists/miners whilst navigating your spaceship through obstacles and the ever changing environment.

The controlling of the ship is basic where the fun really comes from is exploring the 2D environments and playing around with the fire, earth and water elements to complete stages is a lost mechanic of the 8 bit/16 bit era.  I ended up restarting a lot of the levels as I wanted to get a perfect score and save all the scientists.

It is pure old skool gaming with updated visuals and sound.  Speaking of the sound it has some amazing techno/ambient music in this game.  The game lasts for around 5-7 hours depending on your gaming prowess.  It has amazing sound with great gameplay mechanics.  I can’t wait for the sequel.

5/5

Assassin's Creed 2 review

This game is a mix between zelda/GTA/Prince of persia set in renaissance italy. There is a lot of variety in the gameplay. I haven’t played the first game yet which was accused of being slightly too linear without any variety in the gameplay.

This game is a mix between zelda/GTA/Prince of persia set in renaissance italy. There is a lot of variety in the gameplay. I haven’t played the first game yet which was accused of being slightly too linear without any variety in the gameplay.

The main story mode is the obvious draw to the game where you take control of the main character Ezio. Ezio moves with verve and agility allowing you to climb the highest towers with ease. You are constantly rewarded with upgraded armour which make the combat sequences that much easier to deal with. The missions have a lot of variety with some taking on the role of stealth assassin while others see you in a obstacle race scenario. I found the tomb sections really interesting where you are solving puzzles in a dungeon like map very much like Zelda. It’s great collecting treasures, paintings, glyphs and codex pages not to mention unravelling the story piece by piece.

The cities that you travel through are very much like gta but the single difference I feel is that the character movement and abilities given to you in this game adds more of a sense of freedom as you can climb up buildings as well as jumping across them to get to your desired location simile to prince of Persia but in a traditional gta city. Although a car would help sometimes. :)

I played the XBOX 360 version as it is supposed to be slightly graphically superior compared to the PS3 version but don’t let that dissuade you from great game.

The entire game lasts between 16-20 hours if you collect all the treasures and complete all the missions. Graphics and menu presentation is simply amazing and I wholeheartedly recommend this game to even the die hard Zelda or gta fans. A truly epic game.

5/5